ZoomText & E-Mail

January 26, 2017

The following is by Lauren Tappan.

Urgent News for Zoom Text users.  Go to Ai-Squared and up-date Zoom Text from this site.There will be text support people to help you with this this weekend.  Their note said that

If you do not do this u-date/ Zoom Text will not work for you.  You have to go through theAi-Squared site because other methods will not completely download this new version.

If you decide to up-grade your e-mail program, be sure to first contact Ai-Squared to make sure, that your new e-mail program works well with Zoom Text.  They suggested Outlook 2016 which might be harder and harder to find.

We have noticed that the text on Outlook 2016 was very faint and hard to read.  We made a few adjustments and it is better but needs more work.  Ai-Squared said that if we getZoom Text 11 these problems will be fixed.  They suggested downloading Zoom Text 11Test to see if it repairs the text reading problem.


Dear Ai Squared Customer,

You should have received a notification from Ai Squared making you aware that due to a digital certificate issue the current versions of ZoomText and Window-Eyes applications will need to be updated in order to work after January 26. Any copies of these applications that have not been updated, will no longer run after January 26, 2017.

Information about this issue, affected products, and links for download updates that fix these problems are now available at www.aisquared.com/certificatefix.

In order to better serve you, Ai Squared technical support will be available from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern on both Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29. For access to this weekend support, call the technical support line  (727) 803-8600 and follow the prompts. Please listen carefully as the options have changed.

Thank you for your patience and concern while we deal with the digital certificate issue.

For more Info:



Wet Macular Degeneration Drug May Reduce Number of Injections Needed

January 21, 2017

An experimental drug, AXT107, may one day make treatment simpler for patients with age-related macular degeneration, according to research published in the January 18 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

“We anticipate injection of AXT107 in humans may have a substantially longer effect than current treatment,” lead researcher Peter Campochiaro, MD, a professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, told HealthDay. “Instead of eye injections every four to six weeks, we hope it would be several months between injections.”

 For more Info:

Macular Degeneration Related to Altzheimer’s

December 19, 2016

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss among the elderly, is also linked to Alzheimer’s disease. A study has revealed that the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease can accumulate in the retina and damage it. The researchers are hopeful their findings can work to improve treatment methods.

Using both cell cultures and mouse models, the scientists analyzed how quickly amyloid-beta proteins (associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease) entered the retina and how much damage they caused.

The researchers found that the amyloid-beta proteins enter the retina within 24 hours of exposure and then start breaking the cellular scaffold structures.

Dr. Ratnayaka added, “The speed in which these proteins entered the retinal cells was unexpected. These findings have given some insights into how a normal healthy retina can switch to a diseased AMD retina. We hope that this could lead to designing better treatments for patients in the future.”

The researchers’ next step is evaluating how amyloid-beta proteins enter the retina and examining how the damage occurs.

For more info:




Alzheimer’s and Macular Degeneration

November 26, 2016

One change that occurs in the retina of people with AMD as the disease progresses is an increase in the number and size of fatty deposits called drusen.

In their study paper, the researchers explain that the causes of AMD are understood to be complex, with both genetic as well as environmental risks factors, and share similarities with Alzheimer’s disease.

They note how recent studies have shed a lot of light on the genetic causes of AMD – although this is not matched by insights into the molecular mechanisms involved.

However, they also note that other studies have found aged and AMD retinas also show accumulation of the types of beta-amyloid proteins that are found in toxic plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and “for which there appears to be no clear genetic basis.”

For their study, Dr. Arjuna Ratnayaka, a lecturer in vision sciences at Southampton, and colleagues used cell cultures and mouse models of AMD to investigatemechanisms of Alzheimer’s beta-amyloid accumulation inside retinal cells.

They were particularly interested in the speed with which the proteins find their way inside the retinal cells.

The researchers found the retinal cells internalized the amyloid proteins within 24 hours of being exposed to them.

They also discovered that the amyloid proteins are retained inside the retinal cells, where they gradually impair a molecular mechanism reliant on the protein encoded by the MAP-2 gene. Among other things, MAP-2 mechanisms help to maintain important structures inside cells called microtubules.

Dr. Ratnayaka says they were surprised at the speed with which the amyloid proteins entered the cells, and he suggests the finding may help explain how a healthy retina can switch to a diseased, AMD retina.

The team is now planning to evaluate how the beta-amyloid proteins actually enter the retinal cells and set about causing internal damage. The hope is the continuing work will lead to measures to prevent or treat AMD.

For more info:










More Info on the Book Eye 4

November 17, 2016
Here are a few more notes on the Book Eye 4 as a resource for low-vision/blind users.  Johnathon Kirk of UNC has sent us a brief description of his experience with the Book eye.
He highly recommends it as a free book scanner and reader.  see below
Lauren Tappan

More Info on the Book Eye4 Scanner

November 8, 2016

The following is from Lauren Tappan.

Many University libraries’ now have the Book Eye 4.  Jack Mitchell from Indigo Logics,
Johnathon Kirk from the Duke Eye Center, my husband and I met at the Duke Library with
the goal of using the Book Eye 4, my I-Pad and the KNFB Reader to have scanned files
read to me.
The Book Eye 4 is a great document scanner that will allow you to send scanned documents to a thumb drive or PDF file.  It has large print on the navigational desk top so it would be easy for a low-vision user.
   My goal was to scan a document on the Book Eye 4 and send this
scanned document to my I-Pad e-mail program.
   Unfortunately, my I-Pad Voice Over does not read PDF files so we were trying to
figure out a way to have these scanned documents read.
  Jack Mitchell showed us how we can send the PDF file to my KNFB Reader ap
where the document can be saved and read to me in a timely fashion.
   As a low-vision user of these devices, I was looking for a quick and easy
scanning system that would allow me to scan at least 20 pages at a time.
When I have tried to use the KNFB Reader to scan material sometimes
my hands are not steady enough and I don’t get a clear copy of the page.
  Jack Mitchell showed us a way to arrange the I-Pad on a flat surface,
exposing the camera and then being able to use the I_pad and KNFB
Reader like the Book Eye 4 scanner.
  It sounds complicated but once you know the system things go quickly.

Cats and Low Vision

October 29, 2016

The following is from the Albuquerque Journal:

Q: I have friends that have macular degeneration. One is legally blind. I have read internet articles telling that cats can carry the parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

One of them states that toxoplasmosis is the most common cause of eye inflammation in the world. Could this be causing the eye problems that our long-term cat owner friends have?

Dr. Nichol: Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it is transmissible between animals and humans. It’s caused by a single-celled protozoan parasite that can infect any warm-blooded mammal but cats are its definitive host.

I sent your question to human ophthalmologist Dr. Jesse Swift.

The good doctor’s comments: “Toxoplasmosis is a common parasite that usually does not affect healthy individuals. It can, however, affect those that are immunosuppressed due to cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS, or other reasons. It can also affect the fetus in a pregnant woman. The children that contract congenital toxoplasmosis can develop hearing loss, mental disability, and blindness. In fact, toxoplasmosis is a leading cause of blindness especially in underdeveloped countries. It is also a leading cause of uveitis or eye inflammation in both children and adults. In those that are immunosuppressed it can cause life threatening encephalitis.”

Another human ophthalmologist, Dr. Stephen Saxe, was also kind enough to weigh in. “Toxoplasmosis and age-related macular degeneration are both diseases that can affect the retina and the macula (the anatomical visual center of the retina). They both can cause inflammation and scarring in the retina. However, toxoplasmosis and age-related macular degeneration are two separate diseases caused by two completely different mechanisms.”